How often have you bought a new DVD Player, and have had difficulty making it work with your existing TV set-up? In our Entrepreneurship Case Studies series, this week, we talk with Yaniv Ben-Saadon, founder and CEO of Fixya, a community site focused on providing after sales technical support on consumer products.
SM: Please describe your personal background : Family, upbringing, early career, etc. leading up to this venture.
YB: I was born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel; the oldest of three children to young parents that immigrated from Morocco. After graduating tech high school, I joint the Israeli Air Force and became an officer soon after that. Overall I served 6 years in the military, and in 1994 jumped on a plane and came to the US. >>>
The McClatchy Company is the third largest newspaper company in the United States. The Company publishes 31 daily newspapers and approximately 50 non-dailies across 29 locations in the United States. The prominent newspapers from the Company include the Miami Herald, the Kansas City Star, the Charlotte Observer and the Sacramento Bee. McClatchy also owns some of the leading local websites in each of its daily newspaper markets. The Company through its sites offer users information, comprehensive news, advertising, e-commerce and other services. McClatchy Interactive provides content for websites, software development and publishing tools.
McClatchy operates Real Cities, the largest national advertising network of local news sites and owns 14.4% of CareerBuilder, the nation’s largest online job site. The Company also owns 25.6% of Classified Ventures, a newspaper industry partnership that offers classified sites such as the nation’s number two online auto site, cars.com, and the number one rental site, apartments.com.
In 2Q07, 84% of the Company’s revenues came from advertising and 12% of the revenues came from circulation. Run-of-press or ROP contributed 37% to the advertising revenue, while classified advertising contributed 33% and 8% came from national advertising. However, there is a continuous shift from ROP to preprint and online advertising.
The Company’s consolidated advertising revenues in August 2007 decreased 9.2% and total revenues were down 8.4% to $144 million from $158 million in August 2006. Year-to-date advertising revenues declined 8.0% and total revenues were down 7.1% on a pro forma basis. Advertisement revenues from the classified category fell 17.3%. However, what is worrying for the Company is the fact that online advertising revenues fell by 3.1% in August 2007 compared to August 2006. Year-to-date online advertising revenues have risen by a meager 1.7%. >>>
Well, this morning, Nokia is announcing that they are acquiring Navteq for $8.1 Billion in cash. Navteq’s stock had risen steadily recently upon acquisition speculation. Since I last wrote about Navteq on August 2, the stock has gone from $65.99 to $79.27, and is trading at $76.79 right now. >>>
As part of the VC-Entrepreneur Compensation disbalance discussion, my friend Sunil Bhargava of Tandem Entrepreneurs (check out what they do) sent me the following chart, showing some concrete data on VC compensation, and Private Equity industry performance:
VC Compensations: Rising
I felt like doing another set of Designs that Move posts. So here are a few designs by Mexican architect Luis Barragan.
“Beauty – the invincible difficulty that the philosophers have in defining the meaning of this word is unequivocal proof of its ineffable mystery.”
Luis Barragán, Tlalpan Chapel, Mexico City
By Utkarsh Rai, Guest Author, Author of “Offshoring Secrets”.
“Fear of the unknown” is the biggest deterrent when it comes to choosing the next job. In India, most of the time, the prospective candidate is not the sole decision maker in accepting an offer. Parents, spouse, siblings, in-laws and friends play a major role in influencing the decision. This is observed during the initial years of a candidate’s career.
Since the decision makers are plenty, having a good brand image is important not only to attract the right talent but also in convincing the “naysayers” about the prospects of your company. >>>
SM: What are some of your key learnings from this journey so far?
SS: The journey has been very interesting. More technology start-ups didn’t survive the dot-com bust. We were able to weather the downturn and adapt to the environment. We adjusted the management team, adjusted the focus on applications and with a bit of luck, we’ve been able to flourish over the past few years.
Another important learning, which is part of Marketing 101 or Product 101, is how we, as a company, can develop close relationships with our customers. In a category like ours, in which people were initially concerned about the complexities of audio and video but it’s now an important part of the future, we had to constantly hear from customers about the types of applications that they want. We want to know what they’re thinking about, as this is the only way that we can adapt our offerings to support them. >>>
How time flies… It seemed to me that I just finished complied the August deals in Israel, and September just flew by. As expected, the investment activity in Israel during September did not slow down. Benchmark announced their investment in Broadlight, and Partech lead a round in PowerID, a spinoff from Powerpaper. But the most important news in Israel was related to the venture capital fund raising scene. >>>